Bats... Scary or Gentle Creatures of the Night?
Have you noticed boxes on poles in the park? Ever wondered why they are there? They are bat houses, i.e. homes to encourage bats to take up residence.
Many people think that bats are creepy, scary, spooky. After all, don’t they suck blood? So, why would we want to encourage them to hang around the park. The truth is that bats are really shy, gentle, intelligent and misunderstood creatures that are part of a healthy ecosystem.
Read more about bats here.
Lacy patches of grey, tufts of orange string, green leaf-like growth, colorful crust covers on rocks or trees ... what are these mystery organisms found throughout Brightwood Park? They vary in shape and color and can be found growing on rocks, trees, and other surfaces. Not to be confused with moss, lichens are a mysterious organism.
Lichens are found all over the earth from polar regions to the tropics! Most grow on land but a small percentage can even live in water. They are especially unique in that they are comprised of both fungi and alga –in this symbiosis, each component sustains the other. The fungus provides moisture allowing alga to grow in otherwise inhospitable climates. Alga absorbs nutrients and uses photosynthesis to create food thereby feeding the fungus.
Read more about lichens here.
Spring has brought a new kind of woodpecker to Brightwood Park! Northern Flickers!
Flickers are a larger species of woodpecker, growing up to a foot in length with a wingspan of between 16” to 20.” They can weigh between 4 and 5 lbs.
Read more about Flickers...
If you walked through Brightwood Park this spring, you may have seen some areas blocked off with caution tape. The tape is to protect pollinator gardens we planted this spring.
So, what is a pollinator garden? It is a garden of flowering plants that attracts pollinators. Pollinators are animals, such as bees, butterflies, flies, moths, hummingbirds, bats, and others, that spread pollen from one plant to another.
Read more about pollinators here...
There is a saying, “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow!” If you look at a tiny acorn, you might not see its potential to grow 100 feet tall! The saying reminds us that, like oaks, in the seeds of life there is tremendous potential... that goes for each of us.
Read more about oak trees...
Brightwood Park is on the North end of Prospect Street. Go past Franklin School and look for the entrance on the left.